Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.Parker J. Palmer
FTE strives to equip the next generation of leaders who are inspired to do God’s work in the world through his or her own church or academic community. With support, diverse young people can enliven their vocational pursuit, becoming intellectually and spiritually whole leaders. We provide resources created to meet the unique needs of those who are seeking their purpose, passion and call, and the partners who nurture them on their journey.
BooksGod Underneath: Spiritual Memoirs of a Catholic Priest
This is a memoir by a Roman Catholic priest who believes “spirituality is the very stuff of our lives,” and demonstrates that belief with stories from his life and ministry.
BooksGod’s Yes Was Louder Than My No: Rethinking the African-American Call to Ministry
An outstanding study of the call to ordained ministry among African-American clergy through a collection of writings about vocation by popular, secular authors.
ToolsGoing on Retreat: A Beginner’s Guide to the Christian Retreat Experience
Includes wise spiritual counsel and practical tips, including the Spiritual Exercises of Ingnatius of Loyola, as well as a list of retreat centers.
BooksGreenhouses of Hope
Congregations play a major role in creating communities that support emerging Christian leaders who want to change the world. Authored by Dori Baker and six contributors, Greenhouses of Hope explores the cultures and practices of congregations that inspire young people to explore their vocation and the call to ministry.
BooksGrowing In The Life Of Faith, Second Edition: Education And Christian Practices
Dr. Dykstra, VP for Religion at the Lilly Endowment, Inc., makes the case that the church has a wealth of wisdom for satisfying the hunger to know God deeply.
ToolsHartford Institute for Religion Research
Hartford Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research has a 32 year record of rigorous, policy-relevant research, anticipation of emerging issues and commitment to the creative dissemination of learning. This record has earned the Institute an international reputation as an important bridge between the scholarly community and the practice of faith.
BooksHoly Play: The Joyful Adventure of Unleashing Your Divine Purpose
Dr. Jones is an adjunct professor at Andover-Newton Theological School and a popular 2008 Boston VEV presenter.
BooksHoly Things for Youth Ministry: 13 Practical Sessions
Holy Things for Youth Ministry is a youth curriculum containing 13 sessions written by individuals who have extensive experience in youth ministry.
BooksHow Coffee Saved My Life: And Other Stories of Stumbling to Grace
An incredibly honest account of her year in Latin America while serving within a volunteer program for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
BooksHow to Find Your Mission in Life
The author of What Color is Your Parachute, uses wit and wisdom to explore the spiritual aspects of finding one’s place in the work world.
How Youth Ministry Can Change Theological Education—If We Let It
Since 1993, forty-nine theological seminaries have created opportunities for high school students to participate in on-campus High School Theology Programs (HSTPs) that invite them to engage in serious biblical and theological study. Many of the young people who take part in these programs go on to become pastoral or lay leaders in their churches. What has made these programs so successful — especially given the well-documented “crisis of faith” among young people today?
BooksI Will Not Die an Unlived Life: Reclaiming Purpose and Passion
This charismatic teacher and thinker invites readers to follow their passion.
BooksIn Good Company: The Fast Track from the Corporate World to Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience
The story of one man’s remarkable journey from corporate America to the Jesuit order.
BooksIn Search of Grace: A Religious Outsider’s Journey Across America’s Landscape of Faith
At age 29, Hahn took a two-year journey through the smorgasbord of American and religious communities to produce this “kind of” shoppers’ guide.
Articles / WhitepapersInterpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology
Since 1947, Interpretation has offered pastors, scholars and theologians a valuable resource for study, preaching and teaching. Each issue explores a theme or biblical book with writers who have relevant expertise.
CurriculumIntroduction to Peace and Justice
This course begins with reflection on “vocation” or “calling” in life. One of the Beatitudes Jesus proclaimed in His Sermon on the Mount was “Blessed are the Peacemakers.” Throughout this course we will consider the lives of various persons who have responded to a call to be a peacemaker. We will be alert to the variety of ways such a call found expression in their lives. Together we will study the vocation or “call” to nonviolence of Mahatma Gandhi and of Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will elect to study the life and writings of other peacemakers.
BooksIs It I, Lord?: Discerning God’s Call to Be a Pastor
Chatham, a Presbyterian pastor and popular preacher, address the question, “Is God calling you to be a pastor?”
BooksJohn Howard Yoder: Mennonite Patience, Evangelical Witness, Catholic Convictions
A biographical look at Yoder, who put Anabaptist pacificism at the center of ecumenical dialogue. This book is for Christians struggling to understand how faith can open a path to peace.
Articles / WhitepapersJourney with Jesus
Every Monday the Journey with Jesus posts a new essay based upon the biblical lectionary, a film review, book review and poem or prayer.
This adult curriculum of Christian formation helps participants transform from outsiders wondering how to connect with the church, to people covenanting together to discern and act on their calling, both individually and in community. John de Beer and Sarah Dylan Breuer created this curriculum. Click here for more information.
Articles / WhitepapersLeading Differently: 2016 FTE Christian Leadership Forum Reflections
How do we shape a world with a more hopeful future? This is the question explored by more than 200 faithful leaders at the 2016 FTE Christian Leadership Forum. Over three days in Atlanta, FTE hosted a diverse, intergenerational gathering of Christian leaders—seminarians, faith-based community workers and volunteers, doctoral students, leaders of theological schools, congregations and church-related organizations. This publication includes insights and reflections from several Forum participants as well as written pieces from FTE’s Stephen Lewis and Dori Baker.
BooksLeading Lives That Matter
Leading Lives That Matter draws together a wide range of texts—including fiction, autobiography, and philosophy—offering challenge and insight to those who are thinking about what to do with their lives. Instead of giving prescriptive advice, Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass approach the subject of vocation as an ongoing conversation. They include in this conversation some of the Western tradition’s best writings on human life—its meaning, purpose, and significance—ranging from ancient Greek poetry to contemporary fiction. Including Leo Tolstoy’s novella The Death of Ivan Ilych as an extended epilogue, this volume will help readers clarify and deepen how they think about their own lives.
BooksLearning the Language of the Fields: Tilling and Keeping as Christian Vocation
This piece marries Christian theology and spiritual discipline with Native American mythology and organic gardening to deepen our engagement with the places in which we live.
BooksLectio Divina: Renewing the Ancient Practice of Praying the Scriptures
Pennington is a leading authority on spirituality, especially centering prayer.
Classic 19th Century novel that includes a hunted man, social issues like injustice, inequality, civil unrest, a relentless detective, a saintly bishop, a tragic prostitute and her innocent daughter.
CurriculumLet Your Life Speak – Social Justice Vocation Symposium
This course examines fundamental questions of Christian vocation such as the following:
Students will explore what it means to discern, accept, and fulfill one’s call to a life of Christian purpose, service, and leadership. Through exploration of contemporary social issues and service-leadership theories, critical readings and discourse, and theological reflection, students will look to Jesus Christ as a model and archetype for how to lead purposeful lives that respond to the needs of the world. The course places a special emphasis upon service to the poor and dispossessed. Moreover, students are required to engage in collaborative, service projects throughout the semester.
BooksLet Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
This popular college text has done much to define and shape discussion about vocation among young people.
BooksLife Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community
His struggle for justice, wrestling with the meaning of discipleship and example as a central figure in the Confessing Church during the Nazi period, martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer became one of the most influential leaders of the 20th Century.
ToolsLilly Endowment, Inc: Religion
In recent years, Lilly Endowment’s religion grant making has been focused on major, interlocking efforts aimed at enhancing and sustaining the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes. The Endowment has focused on supporting programs and projects that address four broad questions: How do we identify, recruit and call forth a new generation of talented Christian pastors? How do we best prepare and train new ministers for effective and faithful pastoral leadership? How do we improve the skills and sustain the excellence of pastors currently serving congregations? What are basic questions about the current state of the practice of ministry that we need to answer to improve the quality of ministry?
ToolsLilly Theological Research Grants
The Lilly Theological Research Grants program, inaugurated in 1996 and revised in 2001, is designed to enhance the skill and capacity of faculty in ATS schools as theological researchers and scholars. It supports research efforts of faculty, particularly at junior and non-tenured levels in order to nurture the development of their scholarship; seeks to enlarge the pool of faculty actively engaged as theological researchers; works to increase knowledge about grant seeking and the craft of theological research; and nurtures the habit of research as an ongoing aspect of scholarly life.
Lilly Youth Theology Network
Lilly Youth Theology Network is a collaborative effort of Lilly Endowment initiated and inspired Theology Programs for High School Youth located at seminaries, schools of theology, universities, and other church serving organizations across North America. Its mission is to advance the engagement of high school youth and their adult leaders in theological thinking about contemporary issues and vocational discernment. This network seeks to support youth theology programs in recruiting a cadre of theologically minded youth and adults to become committed Christian leaders in church and society.
Tags: High School Ministry
BooksListen! God Is Calling!: Luther Speaks of Vocation, Faith, and Work
Author D. Michael Bennethum presents Martin Luther’s teaching on vocation as a resource both for individual believers, helping them find deeper meaning in their ordinary daily labors; and for congregations, encouraging them to develop a climate that supports their members at work.
BooksListen! God Is Calling!: Luther Speaks of Vocation, Faith, and Work (Lutheran Voices)
Bennethum uses Luther’s understanding of vocation to help believers find deeper meaning in their ordinary daily labors and communities of faith to support their members at work.
BooksListening For God: A Ministers Journey Through Silence And Doubt
Weems, an ordained Methodist minister, gives an honest portrayal of her own “spiritual breakdown” and an honest assessment of her love affair with God.
BooksListening for God: Contemporary Literature and the Life of Faith, Volume 1
A resource intended to help readers investigate how life and faith merge in surprising ways and places. Includes excerpts from the works of eight contemporary American authors with author profiles. The reader’s guide:
BooksLive Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in Life
The authors host the most visited Christian career center on the internet, offers an action plan for self-fulfillment that helps people find their true calling in life.
BooksLiving into the Answers: A Workbook for Personal Spiritual Discernment
A resource for asking for and receiving God’s guidance in approaching issues or choices.